Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said extending the Auckland lockdown, which began Wednesday, would give authorities time to get a handle on the virus cluster and isolate those infected. The lockdown will last an additoinal 12 days following the first new infection in just over 100 days.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said extending the Auckland lockdown, which began Wednesday, would give authorities time to get a handle on the virus cluster and isolate those infected.
“Together, we have got to get rid of COVID before,” Ardern said in the highly anticipated address.
“We have kept it out for 102 days, longer than any other country," she said. "We have been world-leading in our COVID response, with the result that many lives were saved and our economy was getting going faster than almost anywhere else. We can do all of that again.”
The outbreak has grown to 30 people, now extending beyond Auckland for the first time.
The only known cases were travelers who quarantined after arriving from abroad.
Health authorities believe the virus must have been reintroduced from overseas, but testing hasn’t shown a link between the virus and the quarantined travelers.
Several infections at a food storage facility prompted authorities to investigate shipping workers instead as the possible source of the new infections.
Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said they were doing rigorous testing at Auckland’s port “as part of our investigation just to follow that chain of the Americold goods that might have come in through the port and been transported to that Mt. Wellington depot.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.